Do you miss your playground and your playground friends? Write a letter!
Once of the most persistent memories I have of elementary school is singing the “Friendly Letter Song” in 3rd grade. The tune has stuck in my head for a full 25 years so I won’t link it here, but I’m sure it’s easy to look up if you’d like to share this song-burden with me.The lyrics simply went: “Heading, Greeting, Body, Closing, Signature: five parts to a friendly letter, I can write to you!”
Do students still learn to write letters for the mail? If not, I couldn’t imagine a better time to start. We miss our school playground communities and we’d love to hear about which memories of your school playground bubble up to the surface when you think back to life before quarantine.
Consider having your students, children, or colleague’s kids write a letter to their playground or the friends they miss seeing on the playground.
Here’re some questions and prompts they could write about in their letters:
- What memories of the playground most stick in your head?
- Who do you miss seeing on the playground?
- What was your favorite game or sport to play on the playground?
- When you close your eyes, and think back about the playground, what sensory memories come to mind? What sounds did you hear? What scents remind you of the playground? What colors most come to mind?
- How did playing on the playground make you feel?
- Did you ever get to garden in your playground? What did you grow?
- What do you think grown-ups could learn from kids on the playground?
- Did you ever imagine that your playground was something or somewhere else? Tell us about it!
- What the first thing you’ll go back and do when the playground opens again?
Consider including a drawing in your letter. Can you draw your playground or garden from memory?
Take a picture or your letter and send it over to us at Tiffany.Briery (at) tpl.org and let us know if we can share it on this site. If you’d rather the satisfying, old-school experience of actually mailing your letter, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a secure mailing address.